Artists > Mitch Holder > Mitch Holder Bio

Mitch has worked with many artists on record as well as doing many movies, TV and TV and radio commercial/jingles. Here is a list of just some of the artists and projects Mitch has worked on in his long career in the LA Studios:


Records With Such Artists As: Barbra Striesand, Frank Sinatra, Dionne Warwick (Ill Never Love This Way Again, Déjà vu), Joe Cocker/Jennifer Warnes (Up Where We Belong ..1), Johnny Mathis, Stevie Nicks, Kilauea, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Barry Manilow (Copacabana and others), Marilyn McCoo, Stephen Bishop (It Might Be You), Bobby Blue Bland, Herb Alpert, Syreeta Wright, Dave Grusin, Lalo Schifrin, Nancy Wilson, Tom Jones, Juice Newton, Seals & Crofts, The Sylvers, Neil Sedaka, Brian Wilson, Jermaine Jackson, Donna Summer, Cher, Freda Payne, Lee Ritenour, Woody Herman, Leonard Cohen, Tom Scott, Leo Sayer, Lionel Richie (Stuck On You), Minnie Riperton, Patti La Belle, Billy Preston, Dean Martin, Hoops McCann Band, Sonny Criss, Hues Corp., Johnny Bristol, Shirley Bassey, Norman Connors, and many more.


Movie Soundtracks: Little Children, Kicking & Screaming,Somethings Gotta Give, Home On The Range, Catch Me If You Can, Space Cowboys (credited acoustic guitar solo), City Slickers II, Mrs Doubtfire, Hot Shots II, Mr. Saturday Night, Saturday Night Fever, Last Of The Mohicans, Urban Cowboy, The Muppet Movie, Heaven Can Wait, The Champ, Electric Horseman, Grease, Tootsie, On Golden Pond, A Soldier's Story, E.T., Soul Man, Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, About Last Night, Nothing In Common, Pretty in Pink, Outrageous Fortune, Milagro Beanfield War, Clara's Heart, Tequila Sunrise, Lean On Me, Troop Beverly Hills, Karate Kid III, Glory, Triumph of the Spirit, Romancing The Stone, Vital Signs, Back To The Future II & III, Bird On A Wire, Quigley Down Under, The Freshman, Problem Child, Terms of Endearment, Roger Rabbit Cartoon, Opportunity Knocks, For The Boys, All I Want For Christmas, Stripes, Absence of Malice and many more.


Composers: John Williams, Dave Grusin, Clint Eastwood, Alan Silvestri, Lalo Schifrin, Michel Legrand, Johnny Mandel, Henry Mancini, Mark Shaimen, John Barry, Tom Scott, David Newman, Hans Zimmer, Trevor Jones, Herbie Hancock, David Shire, Jeremy Lubbock, Lenny Niehaus, Patrice Rushen, Pat Williams, Sammy Nestico, Angelo Badalamenti, Ennio Morricone, Nelson Riddle, Peter Matz, Lee Holdridge, Basil Poledouris and many more


TV: The Jimmy Kimmel Show w/ Anita Baker, Member of the Tonight Show Band With Johnny Carson ('74-'88), The Simpsons, King Of The Hill, Family Guy, Designing Women, Cheers, Coach, Picket Fences, American Journal, Homefront, Trials of Rosie O'Neill, Warners Tiny Toon Adventures, Heat of the Night, Murder She Wrote, St. Elsewhere, Our House, Spenser for Hire, New Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Knots Landing, The Academy Awards, The Grammy Awards, The Country Music Awards, The American Music Awards, The Emmy Awards, The Cable Ace Awards, MacGyver, Dallas, Falcon Crest, The Colby's, Dukes of Hazzard, Chips, Moonlighting, Sledgehammer, Remington Steele, China Beach, Young Riders, Matlock, Love Boat, Lou Grant, Barney Miller, The Incredible Hulk, Fantasy Island, Barnaby Jones, Quincy, General Hospital and many more


Commercials Pepsi, Coca Cola, Great Western Bank, So. California Gas Co, McDonald's, Armour Foods, Coco's Restaurants, Ford, Lincoln-Mercury, Chevy, Mazda, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, VW, Mitsubishi, Budweiser, Lowenbrau, Sunkist, Gatorade, Hilton Hotels, Baskin-Robbins, Maxwell House, Toys R Us, All Nippon Airways, Mattel, Slice, Doritos, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Coors, Pabst, C&H Sugar, Kal Kan, Crave Cat Food, Kelloggs, Sanyo, Ace Hardware, Winchell's Donuts, Ramada Inns, Suzuki, Disneyland & Disney World, Foster's Lager, Iberia Airlines, Sea World, Denny's, Kirin Beer, Folger's, Northrop, AM/PM Markets, In & Out and many more


Mitch was born in Los Angeles, California and started playing the guitar at age eight after getting intrigued with the electric guitar sound of Link Wray and Duane Eddy, both popular instrumentalists of the late '50's. His first teacher, William Pellegrini of Los Angeles, started Mitch learning to read music and shortly after starting lessons, left Mitch with two albums, both jazz artists, Barney Kessel and Johnny Smith. This was Mitch's introduction to jazz and his lifelong pursuit of this American music art form. After a couple of years with Pellegrini, Mitch's father decided that a balance of both single string playing and chordal harmony was needed, so he got him a new teacher, John Frisco, a native of Philadelphia who had taken up residence in LA after a stint in the Marines in the Korean conflict. Through John, Mitch got the foundation in harmony and chords that Mitch's dad was looking for.


Through a friend of Mitch's dad, who was a studio violinist in LA, Marvin Limonick, it was suggested that noted studio and jazz guitarist, Howard Roberts, was teaching and it would be a good idea to get Mitch with him to give Mitch the insights in what it took to become a professional guitarist, something Mitch aspired to early .. starting to learn the instrument. Howard became Mitch's mentor and right from the day they met, took Mitch on a TV call at Universal and subsequent sessions going on in LA that Howard was involved with. Unaware of this musical line of work, Mitch became interested in following in Howard's footsteps as a studio musician.


Mitch began playing around town, with his own groups and others at such places as Donte's, which was THE jazz hangout in the San Fernando Valley for jazz and studio musicians at the time and The Baked Potato, which is still going strong today. Through meeting people, Mitch toured for a couple of years, first with Sergio Mendes and then with Peggy Lee. As his name got around town, in 1974, Mitch got a call from Ed Shaughnessy, the drummer with Doc Severinsen's Johnny Carson Tonight Show Band to partner up with the show's guitarist, Bob Bain. Mitch took the gig and alternated with Bob on the Tonight Show, which became a great base gig to have and helped build his credentials for other gigs.


By 1976, Mitch was starting to get free lance work in the LA studios and got so busy that he left the Tonight Show in 1977 but appeared as a sub over a number of years after that when the regulars weren't available. For the next several years, Mitch found himself in the mainstream of session work, sometimes doing 3 or 4 sessions a day and not having much time to do anything else. Through the '80's and '90's, music technology became the rage and session work gradually dwindled to the point where Mitch had time to pursue other musical interests, teaching and playing more for the enjoyment.


Having an avid interest in the history of guitars and after hooking up with the Gibson Guitar Co. in the '70s, Mitch got involved with guitar design and eventually worked for Gibson as the Western US Product Specialist. He was the Gibson rep as well for a period of time and then got involved with Guitar Center as the electric guitar and bass buyer. Mitch is now, once again, enjoying more musical pursuits.


Wanting to pay back his friend and mentor, Howard Roberts, who passed away in 1992, Mitch has a book out featuring transcriptions of many of Howard's recorded works entitled, The Jazz Guitar Stylings Of Howard Roberts, put out by Mel Bay Publications. To purchase a personally autographed copy, please go to www.mitchholder.com and click on Albums/Books.